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Grateful Dead Live at Community War Memorial Auditorium on 1981-09-26

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Grateful Dead Live at Community War Memorial Auditorium on 1981-09-26

Topics Live concert

Shakedown Street-> CC Rider, They Love Each Other, Cassidy, Jack A Roe, On The Road Again, Ramble On Rose, Looks Like Rain, Brown Eyed Women, Let It Grow-> Don't Ease Me In Playin' In The Band-> Bertha-> Estimated Prophet-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Drums-> Not Fade Away-> Morning Dew-> Playin' In The Band-> One More Saturday Night, E: Johnny B. Goode

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Community War Memorial Auditorium
Location Buffalo, NY

Source Soundboard
Lineage SBD>Cm>Cass>Dat>CD with aud patches
Transferred by Charlie Miller


SBD>Cm>Cass>Dat>CD with aud patches via Charlie Miller


Reviewer: kbmill - - September 3, 2015
Subject: bread crumb
Goin' Down the Road was played in 266 second sets.

When the band evolved the second set in 1978 to a few songs, drums > space > a few songs and an encore, this is the first time that Goin' Down the road was played before drums. It's a relative rarity, occuring only 12 times in that second set format over more than 100 plays.
Reviewer: The TRUE Bucky - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 9, 2014
Subject: Long Awaited Dew
I know many of you were there. So was I.

I was seeing a lot of shows then. We were waiting all year through for Morning Dew since Rochester back on 9/2/80. Through Radio City shows, 7 shows in March, 14 in May.. Then a trip to Minnesota and Alpine Valley in July which was not without it's own charms on 7/10/81 to say the least.

I'd heard through the grapevine that they'd done a series of Dews 'out west' in the Summer. News was sketchy then, but those of us 'touring' to this degree knew we'd be catching a Morning Dew on one of these three shows when the Dead hit the East Coast in September. I felt since only 'everybody' was hitting Buffalo on the Saturday night coupled with The Dead's 'thing' for Upstate New York, this meant we'd get the Dew in Buffalo. And so it was.

And what a show. Coming off the heels of a scorcher the previous night in Lehigh the boys rise to the occasion.

The first set is no match for the previous night's fireworks, but has some great moments, especially the beginning and end.

the second set, however, unleashes some energy that is serious. The pre-drums, OMG!

The Bertha packs a punch that not only matches but exceeds GDTRFB, which is at it's 80-81 best.
So that is high praise indeed. The same for Estimated which packs serious punch. The Playin crackles with energy.

A friend who attended one show per tour noted afterwards that they reverse NFA > GDTRFB in favor for GDTRFB > NFA, albeit with drums > Space in between. I never would've thought of that.

The Morning Dew we'd waited on the East Coast for nine months (and I waited through 31 shows personally in that time) was so beautiful.. So touching in terms of Jerry's voice and guitar work. Certainly not a build-up monster like Rochester or the previous one in Berkeley on 9/11/81, but swiftly building up in intensity anyhow.

As I was at just about every great show that year except the summer ones out West and New Year's, here's how I'd rate the truly great ones I saw:

1. 9/26/81
2. 7/10/81
3. 3/10/81
4. 5/6/81
5. 12/5/81

The only others I've heard from the whole year as good as those 5 are: 9/11/81, 9/12/81 & 12/31/81, 3/28/81 & 10/16/81.

So I guess that's my top ten of the year.
Reviewer: kee-zee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 27, 2013
Subject: 100 verses in ragtime
Sound quality is on point with a little hiss.I like the way Brent was finding his place in 81' and had a very distinct bell sound..The show has a nice set list and what stood out for me in the 1st set was a sweet Ramble on Rose..Also a powerful Brown Eyed Woman>Let it grow..The 2nd set continues with one song flowing into another..Love the Playing>Bertha to open the set..Very spacey and a blazing Bertha brings you back..Woooo Hoooo!!! The Estimated>GDTFB does not disappoint..After Drums/Space the Not Fade>Dew>Playing Reprise is just jaw dropping..a great show so please GIVE IT A WHIRL
Reviewer: gordon hensley - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 6, 2012
Subject: great show, great setlist
hitched up I-95 to newark airport from dc then people express to buffalo for $23 bucks. can't beat that -- plane full of deadheads. one of the best 2nd sets you'll find: spaced out, highest of energy, creative grateful dead. rolling stones were in town the night before and added to the dynamic. we hitched back to airport after show, realized i left my wallet on a bench in a park downtown. went back, still sitting there. karma. next nite at cap centre no match for this show.
Reviewer: Slarti - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 26, 2012
Subject: jamkillah
Bobby wakes everyone up right in the middle of a wicked nice NFA dream jam. Thanks Bobby. Jerry answers with the Dew. Thanks Jerry
Reviewer: lickmyballs - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 27, 2011
Subject: This is pretty good
This is pretty good for an 80's show. My dog liked it. Except for 'Looks Like Rain', he hates that song and so do I. This is an f'd up version anyway. Jerry uses his envelope filter on the intro to 'On the Road Again' and I think it sounds cool. I don't think he uses it again in the rest of the song but he should have. Jer Bear seems to be having a decent night. 'Ramble' and the ole 'Brown Eye' sung and played with conviction with tasty guitar solos. I really like Brent's organ fills in the parts of 'Playin' where Bob isn't singing. Does anybody else out there just skip over the singing parts straight to the jam? I do most of the time. Even post Donna. I just don't have the patience to sit through that shit to get to the good stuff. My bad. A lot of 80's Playin' jams sound exactly the same and this is no exception but it's still good for some reason(probably because it segues into an awesome 'Bertha')(Right now I'm eating a Kashi mushroom trio and spinach pizza and it is very flavorful)(I'm not a vegetarian though because I like hamburgers too much). And bacon. It's 81 and Jeresus can still rip it up just listen to the Buddy Holly song into 'Morning Dew.' Do you know what this song is about? Jerry's guitar will tell you at the end if you don't. It doesn't matter anyway.
Reviewer: mcganahan69 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 9, 2011
Subject: ramble on rose!!
yes this show is everything everybody says it is, I just can't beleive only one person on here mentions anything about the ramble on rose from this show. Jerry's lead break here is absolutely incendiary. It is short, but it is so close to being "just exactly perfect" it's almost hard to beleive it wasn't entirely pre-conceived and then performed to perfection. People, do yourself a favor and check this one out.
Reviewer: Dylan M - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 19, 2010
Subject: Excellent show, varying moments in sound quality
This show is obviously one of the top shows of 1981. A lot of great shows this year. Uptown shows in February, whole east coast run in May, then, this mini tour culminating into an (imho) awesome European run in the fall.

This show is setlist wise and playing attention wise a very solid listen throughout. Jerry especially is focused and playing variations of what the normal "motions" could have been. We here as solid of lead guitar work as anything great in these early Brent years.

Highlights include an incredible LLRAIN, BEW, Let It Grow>Don't Ease, and really the entire second set. Not a dull moment or screw up in the whole show though.

Shakedown>CC Rider, and Drums segment are an AUD source. They don't sound bad, but still slightly degrade what could be a perfect 5 star show. Also, we have what sound like level drop outs in Let it Grow and Don't Ease. The volume will lessen then suddenly shoot back up. I'm sure that Charlie did all he could with these inherent flaws in the masters.

There is also a nasty cut in what could be the best GDTRFB of 1981. A long intro jam that has roughly twenty seconds missing. Still a very inspired and unique rendition in an usual pre-drums slot.

So... overall
5 star show (obviously)
3 star sound quality (when its great, its great, but some flaws)
SOLID 4 star rating!
Reviewer: Stargazin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 28, 2010
Subject: Thank you
Wonderful show
Reviewer: John Bouffard - - July 15, 2010
Subject: Posting to
come back later
Reviewer: Purple Gel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 23, 2010
Subject: I Love '81 Dew!
This show takes off from the first tune on. A nice shakedown, awesome Ramble on Rose and a great second set. To me the '81 Dews are among the best ever. the first jam is dark and angry and the final jam starts off slow, sweet and oh so sad and builds to it's climax.Check out the 9-11 Dew for another sweet, sweet jam.
Reviewer: Jack Straw From Baltimore - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 24, 2009
Subject: Amazing Show
This version of Brown Eyed Women is the best I have ever heard. Jerry's solo goes on and on, is aggressive and - you can tell - comes from the heart. Amazing!!!
Reviewer: Darrylizer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 26, 2008
Subject: A smoking first set followed by a stellar second
I gotta agree with Flyerguy, this is indeed one of the best of '81. Jerry plays beautifully as does the entire band. His leads during Looks Like Rain and Let It Grow are especially stellar and both his vocals and guitar on They Love Each Other are really sweet. The second set starts off with a powerful and psychedelic Playing and for the rest of the set the band is on fire. Each song eases into the next in an effortless flow. The Dew is as others have said pretty damned amazing. Stream away, you wont be disappointed by this top notch show.
Reviewer: Flyerguy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 12, 2008
Subject: One of the Best of *"81"
This show was argueably the best of 1981.....there were MANY great shows in 81, but this 3 show run of Bethlehem, Buffalo and Landover were definite highlights.......Buffalo being the killer one..........from the Masterful Shakedown opening to the amazing second set list this show was one of the most memorable of the many I had seen in '81'....and this recording captures it all.......enjoy fellow Deadheads !!!
Reviewer: banksmc311 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 26, 2007
Subject: They Love Each Other.
I don't think anybody has mentioned this one yet. Beautiful playing. Absolutely beautiful! Nice energy for this show.
Reviewer: crooksy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 21, 2007
Subject: first show
Caution: THIS IS NOT A REVIEW of the music per se.... more of a blog .... an account (as best I recall) of MY EXPERIENCE. Please humor me... this was my 1st of many, many shows and being new to archive... the FIRST I have heard this since 9/26/1981.

Here at 42 y/o... 1981 and the 11th grade seem like an eternity ago. Took the orange '72 bug on the ride from Warren, PA with good friend Bill and his hippie hot sister Jennifer. I recall that we stayed the nite in a small clue where.

I'm 16 and maybe a little intimidated by SO MANY SMILES... like I'd never seen before. A BIG and WONDERFUL eye opener and likely responsible for turning me from the dark to the light.

Uncle Clair (Buffalo, NY US postman) had gotten tired already of my mum bugging him for me to get me tickets to different shows so he had hooked me up w/ a little post card that came to the house giving me shot at early bird seats via FESTIVAL tickets. Scored the 3 of us seats on the floor (17th row as I recall).

Amazed to see all the teamwork of people taking down all the floor folding chairs and stacking into mini chair columns (in order to make more dancing room.) Another's account here regarding the show's delay suggests maybe it was the delay that led to this inspiration.

All I had ever really remembered - shakedown - (what I'd been recalling for years as the 20 minute shakedown opening) actually happened! I was off a little w/ the time but the story heretofore stands corrected.

I don't know what was in the clear punch handed to me and drank while waiting to get in and I really still think this unrelated BUT.... I still also remember a point in the show (SCARY AS HELL AT THE TIME) where CNS began to fail, stumbling in a steadily closing tunnel 'til I made my way to the back of the aud. Getting some clear air seemed to bring me back. Made way back to seats and recall enjoying the bejesus out of remainder of show. Trying at moment to discern moment of less consciousness by listening to sets.

Back to the hotel (via the Falls?), probably tried hitting on Bill's sister and most likely got shut down.

The Stones at Rich stadium the next day... never really crossed our minds.... although we definitely knew about it.

Ticket stub and somewhere in this ol house... a baseball style shirt, gray w/ maroon sleeves, well worn with a blue rose on the front.

God bless the taper who posed this.
Reviewer: decoboy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2006
Subject: Great show
Gem of a show. Outstanding set list. Great shakedown and morning dew. Energetic throughout. Great Morning Dew.
My friends and I Jumped on the subway (bus?) at UB. Everyone in a great mood, Dead tonight followed by a House party and the Stones at Rich stadium Tomorrow! All of us dropped the big A that night. We had great floor seats. I can still remember a girl, obviosly having a bad trip, freeking out on the right side facing the stage in about the 10th row....My friends Girlfriend, Bonny, asked us why we didn't go over and help her...answer...because I don't want to end up like her! To every ones pleasure they opened with Shakedown and we were on our way. The Second Set is amazing with a playing, Playing reprise enveloping an amazing song selection including a morning dew worth writing home to mamma about. Enjoy this show it's Great
Reviewer: imjdg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 11, 2006
Subject: My Hometown
I think "Morning Dew" was the best song the Dead ever played. This was the second Dead show I ever attended, played in my hometown! I still live a few miles away from the old Aud, which is now boarded up. My friends and I slept outside on the grass to get tickets for this show, and ended up with 9th row, Jerry side, which of course, when we all moved our seats forward, ending up about 4th row! We stood on our seats anyway. I remember feeling so proud the day of the show to have all the visiting deadheads in my city, and I talked to many of them. I give this show 5 stars for sentimental reasons, although it WAS a very good concert. Morning Dew was my favorite song, so of course I was thrilled when Jerry started playing, and it was awesome being able to see his facial expressions so close as he played. Thanks for including this, haven't heard it in many years, and it sends shivers up my spine!
Reviewer: mutual - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 27, 2006
Subject: ramble on rose
three words -ramble on rose- that is the tune that kicks ass in this show - listen and i don't know how you could disagree!
Reviewer: kidkarma66 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 6, 2006
Subject: So Glad We Made It!
Not much to add to all the other raves, except to say I should have returned to New Paltz feeling totally satisfied and blown off Landover. This one built on a fine, though not exceptional, Lehigh show the night before, and if memory serves, the delay in letting us into the Aud was more like an hour and a half, with the show being almost two hours late getting started.

But the payoff was just too sweet! They just set the place on fire from note one, and could do no wrong in the 2nd set. Though it wasn't our original plan, I was duly motivated to convince my travelling companions to join me in making the all night drive to the DC area 'cause I just knew they would top themselves and complete the trifecta. (Not that they needed much arm-twisting...)

But NOOOOOOO! (See CapCentre review for more.)
Reviewer: S Gamache..N.H. : ) - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 5, 2006
Subject: Smokin Show..Glad we made it!!!
The Dead pulled out the vista cruiser for the whole damn show this night..Kinda feel bad now, I had to lie to my folks to get to this show. Told them I was sleeping over a friends house in town. Got to my friends, jumped in his car, 12 hours later we were here..I cant say enough good things about this nite recording A++ show A+++ sorry Mom... :)
Reviewer: zuman! - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 14, 2005
Subject: Bertha!
this is an amazingly good Bertha. This mix isn't the best reprersentation. The middle jam is scorching. needs a bit more bass to do this baby justice, but this one works for posterity.
Reviewer: Schnee100 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 26, 2005
Subject: AMAZING SHOW - from start to end
this was really one of the highest shows I ever saw. Bertha (NEVER/rarely in a 2nd set in 1981!), Jack O' Roe...the boys were on in a big way and everyone knew it.
Reviewer: bigboypeete - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 23, 2005
Subject: 80
maybe the best setlist of 81 right up there with new years sound is good a little shaky top 5 of the year show though
Reviewer: bigboypeete - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 23, 2005
Subject: 80
maybe the best setlist of 81 right up there with new years sound is good a little shaky top 5 of the year show though
Reviewer: StrawRider - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 8, 2005
Subject: Believe It
It's hard to beat an '81 Dew. I'll keep this show forever.
Reviewer: Albix714 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 2, 2005
Subject: A Must Have
This was my first Dead tape back in 1982. After hearing the first set a few times, I was hooked. Haven't been able to shake this obsession since! Although the sound quality isn't the best, I defy you to name a show that has more energy. Get it now!
Reviewer: lesthayes37 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 17, 2005
Subject: pure sweetness
this entire rocks from start to finish. jerry rocks cc rider so nicely. the sound quality is very good. i think the the second setlist is so great. bertha is so strong on this night. encore of johnnyb. goode in honor of chuck berry's birthday very cool. in my opinion a must download from 1981.
Reviewer: Sponge - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 7, 2005
Subject: Ka-POW

Trust me on this... spend some time with it cranked LOUD. It was all night POURING.
Reviewer: Capt. Cook - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 28, 2005
Subject: Shakedown!!!
This was a strange little 3 show mini-tour, and very hot. The band was smoking right out of the gate. Shakedown very explosive. The highlight is the killer Playin-Bertha-Estimated-GDTRFB. Morning Dew came as the final sermon, delivered by Jerry to the faithful.

I am really starting to believe the 1981 May - Sept. tours were amoung the best. Brent by now, had really started to find his tone.
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 17, 2005
Subject: Classic one of the best '81's
I reviewed the Salt Palace 1981 show which I have always wanted to hear and was a little dissapointed because it did not have the extra something that shows like this have - Not only does this have a novel song selection, huge amount of energy, but it's long and you can feel them psyched to be there... Let it grow is off the charts, shakedown>CC thats a good sign to start a show this one is going to hit with the gloves off and ramble on rose like china>rider is not present in a mediocre show. This is long and more like a '77 or '78 than an '81 or '82.

Est>GDTRFB???? and then the whole back end with NFA>dew.... This is as good as the dead got in this period.
Reviewer: Hoyt Pollard - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 14, 2004
Subject: A wonderful show!
One of my all time favorite performances of Bertha.

Roast beef sandwiches at the Anchor bar, Deadheads on the USS The Sullivans and a meeting with Joe Cool - what a day in Buffalo!
Reviewer: Hoyt Pollard - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 14, 2004
Subject: A wonderful show!
One of my all time favorite performances of Bertha.

Roast beef sandwiches at the Anchor bar, Deadheads on the USS The Sullivans and a meeting with Joe Cool - what a day in Buffalo!
Reviewer: hjl1450 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 19, 2004
Subject: Morning Dew The Best
The soul of Morning Dew in this show really needs to be appreciated. Bret's organ is sad-ful and evokes Pigpen's Filmore days. I've listened to this tape for years and it's a pleasure to hear to on CD quality. Right up there with the best from 1977-1982...
Reviewer: gganter - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 27, 2004
Subject: Deep
The Dead came on stage about an hour or more late because they were catching a Rolling Stones concert in Pennsylvania or somewhere. So they owed us a bit when they finally arrived. The first set was quite respectable: decent Shakedown, Jack-a-Roe, Brown Eyed, Let It Grow. But the real payoff began at set 2 with the Playin>Bertha. They came on stage quickly like they meant business and immediately got into deep psychedelia during Playin. Bobby goes bananas with some weird rythmn and Garcia is racing to keep up. Their joy going into Bertha was quite infectious and you could see them all smiling at each other, even when Bobby minorly missed one of the climaxes. Jerry's Dew is hard edged and energetic. After the show, some lost blonde girl was wandering around our car muttering about "the dew, the dew..." I sort of felt that way, too. Everyone talks about the Melk Weg, but I think the second set of Buffalo 81 deserves a listen.
Reviewer: beege - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 7, 2004
Subject: Playin in Buffalo
This is a very active, high pitched show where nearly every song is in dance mode. Especially good were the GDTRFB and Morning Dew in the 2nd set. Both sets are perfect fits each on a 80 minute disc.
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